Saudi Government Reportedly Trying to Wipe Out Online Porn

Jan 4, 2015 12:00 PM PST

RIYADH — Saudi Arabian authorities blocked more than 400,000 porn sites in 2013 in an ongoing effort to weed out access to erotic material in the country, according to

Vice, in an article published on Saturday, said the country also recently disabled more than 9,000 Twitter accounts belonging to those associated with marketing and promoting porn.

The state's Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked the websites in a tedious process requiring the review and repression of one page at a time, said Vice, which noted that Saudi authorities are known to conduct random searches of laptops, disks and flash drives at immigration.

The Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, its religious police aka Haia, acknowledged that it did not act alone in tracing those associated to "illegal" websites. Instead it relied upon a group of "ethical hackers" to access users' accounts and personal information, leading to physical arrests.

“Those caught producing or disseminating porn … face up to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed 3 million Saudi Riyals (more than $800,000),” Vice said.

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